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A Quick Way to Die: Humor in Translation

by Julia Marshall For humor to work, someone has to find it funny. There are many ways to kill a book, and trying to be funny and failing would be one of the quicker yet most painful. And that includes translated books. At Gecko Press here in Wellington, we handpick children’s books by some of […]

From The Guide: Darkly Funny YA

When Andrew Smith’s book Grasshopper Jungle won the 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction, it was praised for its blending of catastrophic sci-fi with angsty teen-humor. The following books likewise rely heavily on dark comedy to appeal to the snarky, self-referential nature of teenagers themselves, creating an appealing subgenre for self-aware readers looking to […]

Fashion-Forward Vampires and the Power of Humor in Genre Fiction

Mostly, my social interactions start out something like this: Them: Oh hello, what is it you do? Self: I’m a writer. Them: That’s cool, what do you write? Self: Commercial genre fiction. You know, science fiction, fantasy, romance, young adult. *Pause.* Self: It’s mostly funny. So. Hello. My name is Gail Carriger. I’m an author. […]

Presenting… “The Straight Poop on Potty Humor” (from 2017)

If you spend any amount of time with kids under, say ten (dear god, I hope it stops after ten…), you are undoubtedly waist deep in potty humor. Here’s one of my kids’ favorites: Knock knock! Who’s there? Europe! Europe who? Hey! You’re a poo! Actually, it was funny the first time we heard it. […]

The Straight Poop on Potty Humor

We are each the mother of two young children who range in age from four to eight. These children love potty humor, and they’re not alone. There’s something about those four ps (poop, pee, penis, puke), a couple of bs (burp, butt), and an f (fart) that gets kids giggling. Some adults love this type […]

I’m not kidding.

So the May/June special issue of the Horn Book has only been out for two days and we’ve already had two people (that I know of) cancel their subscriptions because of the lack of respect shown in that issue to our president and, by extension, those who voted him in. Of course I’m sorry to […]

Laughter and Resistance: Humor as a Weapon in the Age of Trump

We could all use a laugh right now, especially children. As the Southern Poverty Law Center’s November 2016 report “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Nation’s Presidential Campaign on Our Schools” has documented, the candidacy (and now presidency) of Donald Trump has resulted in a sharp rise in bullying at school — harassment of […]

What’s so funny about the 2017 Special Issue?

It turns out: a lot! In our May/June special issue on the subject of humor, Lisa Yee, Françoise Mouly, Eugene Yelchin, Philip Nel, Gail Carriger, Julia Marshall, and many more contributors cover what’s funny and what’s not (is poop funny? it depends — ha!), how to be funny, and how humor works as a narrative […]

Horn Book Magazine — May/June 2017: Special Issue: Humor

Table of Contents Features “Say Something Funny” by Lisa Yee Musings of an accidental humorist. “What’s So Funny About Comics?” by Françoise Mouly The New Yorker art editor and TOON publisher argues that humor is fundamental to comics.  “Laughter and Resistance” by Philip Nel Humor as a weapon in the age of Trump. “Mocking Moscow” […]

Editorial: The Little Old Lady from Boston Meets Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang

What can I say? When we were planning our annual special issue and decided on the topic of humor, it was last summer, and everyone was feeling very optimistic. Now I suppose we can only hope, as the old saying goes (and as Lisa Yee reminds us), that comedy is tragedy plus time, as I […]